17 October 2009|
Welcome to the speaker page for the Free Gaza movement.
If you are looking for speakers to talk about our history-making trip in August, 2008, we have them available.
If you want to find a speaker who can talk about the conditions in Gaza before and after Israel’s brutal massacres in December and January, we have volunteers who stayed in Gaza to work with the farmers and fishermen and who witnessed Israel’s brutality during Cast Lead.
If you are interested in listening to speakers who were on board the DIGNITY when it was rammed in December 2008 or the SPIRIT when it was hijacked in June 2009 when the passengers were kidnapped and thrown into prison, we have FG members who were on board those trips. Our speakers are scattered around the world and speak several languages. They have been invited to present in front of Parliaments, activist groups, Palestinian solidarity groups and peace groups. They are available as keynote speakers, motivational speakers, and storytellers about what they have seen.
Huwaida Arraf, JD (US/Ramallah, English, Arabic) is a Palestinian with American and Israeli citizenship. She received her Juris Doctor from the American University Washington College of Law, where she focused her studies on international human rights and humanitarian law. In 2001 Huwaida co-founded the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), which has twice been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Huwaida is co-author of the book “Peace Under Fire: Israel, Palestine, and the International Solidarity Movement.” From 2007 – 2008 Huwaida taught in a human rights law clinic at Al-Quds University in Jerusalem, the first legal clinic in the Arab World.
Huwaida was one of the initiators and organizers of a delegation of American lawyers to Gaza in February 2009, and co-authored the report on their findings, "Onslaught: Israel's Attack on Gaza and the Rule of Law." Huwaida is currently the Chairperson of the Free Gaza Movement. Since August 2008, she has led 5 successful sea voyages to the Gaza Strip. She was on board the SPIRIT OF HUMANITY, when it was hijacked by the Israeli Navy on 30 June 2009. She is available to speak around the world.
Audrey Bomse, JD (US/UK, English, French and Spanish) has been an activist since her student days in the 60s, involved in the civil rights movement, the prisoner rights movement and the El Salvador and Palestinian solidarity movements. As a human rights lawyer, she worked in Israel and the oPt for the past 7 years, most recently as coordinator of the United Against Torture Coalition, comprised of 15 Palestinians and Israeli NGOs representing the interests of Palestinian detainees and working to prevent and combat torture.
She has been an active member of the National Lawyers Guild for 25 years, past co-chair of its Prisoners’ Rights Committee and current co-chair of its Free Gaza Subcommittee. She was on board the maiden voyage of the DIGNITY in October, 2008, the second successful voyage for the Free Gaza movement. She is available to speak in Europe or the U.S.
Caoimhe Butterly (Cueeva) (Ireland, Arabic, English, Spanish) is an Irish human rights activist. She has worked on human rights observation projects and with NGOs in Zimbabwe, Chiapas, Guatemala, Lebanon, Iraq (Voices in the Wilderness) and Palestine. Caoimhe lived in the Jenin refugee camp for a year in 2002 before being shot by Israeli soldiers, then deported. She has worked with human rights organizations, social movements, NGOs, prisoner rights campaigns and as a volunteer on ambulance services during the massacres in Gaza in December and January, and was a witness to war crimes and white phosphorous attacks, Caoimhe went to Gaza on the second trip in October 2008, then stayed as one of the two Free Gaza coordinators there. She was also on board the DIGNITY when it was attacked in December 2008. She is available to speak around the world
Mike Cushman (UK, English) is a London-based activist for Palestinian rights. He is an active member of the BRICUP committee, the organization that leads the campaign in the UK for the Academic Boycott of Israeli universities, and he is a founder member of Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods (J-BIG). Mike works at eh London School of Economics where he researches on Digital and Social Exclusion and is UCU branch secretary.
Mike was on the final voyage the Dignity to enter Gaza successfully in December 2007 just before the Israeli assault. This voyage succeeded in getting 11 students out of Gaza to continue their studies abroad. Mike was in the West Bank a few weeks earlier and contrasts his experience of the two visits. Mike is available to speak in the U.K.
Dr. Bill Dienst (USA, English, Spanish) is a rurally based Family and Emergency Room Physician from the Okanogan Valley of Washington State. He was the ship’s doctor and disaster planner for the voyage of the LIBERTY and FREE GAZA. He stayed in Gaza after the boats’ departure and was blocked from exiting Gaza through Israel and Egypt. He finally exited after a week through Egypt following intense political pressure through the offices of US Senators and Congressmen. He is currently editing and co-authoring the forthcoming book, Breaking the Siege: Voyages of the Free Gaza Movement, which hopefully will be released in 2010. Dr. Dienst has volunteered in the Middle East five times since 1985 with Palestinian based health care organizations.
Eliza Ernshire (Australia/UK, English) is one of the co-founders of the Free Gaza Movement and a schoolteacher and human rights activist. Originally from Australia, she currently lives and works in the UK. She has worked for human rights and justice all over the world, from Afghanistan to Gaza. Eliza was on board the LIBERTY, the second boat into the Gaza harbor in August, 2008, then was a crew member for three more voyages, including the December 30 voyage on board the DIGNITY when it was deliberately rammed three times by the Israeli navy in international waters. She is available to speak in the UK.
Derek Graham (Ireland/Cyprus, English) is originally from Ireland, and has been living in Cyprus for last 3 years. He is a qualified electrician and accomplished sailor, and has been sailing all his life. He is a member of the Irish Palestinian Solidarity Campaign, and primarily worked as crew on missions to Gaza, as well as organizing boat logistics.
Derek was on board the FREE GAZA when it made its historic trip to Gaza in August, 2008 and has been first mate on every other voyage except for one. He was on board the DIGNITY when it was rammed by the Israeli navy in December, 2008 and he was one of the kidnapped crew members on the SPIRIT when Israel hijacked it in June, 2009. He is available to speak in Ireland and Cyprus.
Alex Harrison (UK, English, Arabic) is a human rights activist and advocate living between London and the Middle East. She lived and worked in Balata, Nablus in the occupied West Bank during the second Intifada. The Israeli authorities denied her entry to Palestine when she tried to visit family there in 2006 and 2008.
Alex was on board the Spirit of Humanity when Israeli forces hijacked the boat and abducted the passengers. She is determined to return to Palestine and plans to work in Gaza in the coming year. Alex is available to speak in the UK.
Fathi Jaouadi (Tunisia/UK, Arabic, French, English) is a television producer and human rights activist. Originally from Tunisia, he currently lives and works in London. He was one of the filmmakers on board the FREE GAZA when it left Cyprus and arrived in Gaza in August, 2008 and has produced one film on the voyage and is working on another. He was one of the delegation leaders for three of the successful trips to Gaza and was on board the DIGNITY when it was rammed by the Israeli navy and on board the SPIRIT when Israel hijacked the boat and kidnapped the passengers. He is available to speak in the Middle East.
Ramzi Kysia (Lebanon/US, English) is an Arab-American writer and activist. He was co-coordinator of the Iraq Peace Team, and headed a project to develop Baghdad Indymedia after the 2003 US invasion. He was the head of the land crew for Free Gaza’s first voyage to Gaza in August 2008. Ramzi was a passenger on board the maiden voyage of the DIGNITY in October, 2008, then stayed in Gaza for a month writing about what he witnessed before coming back to Cyprus to continue to run the land crew for the next three voyages. He is available to speak in the U.S.
Ewa Jasiewicz (UK, Polish, English, Arabic) is an experienced journalist, community and union organizer, and solidarity worker. Her articles have appeared in The Independent, The Guardian, Le Monde Diplomatique, Red Pepper, and Z Net, among others. She worked with the ISM in Palestine, and with Voices in the Wilderness in Iraq.
Ewa was on the third trip into Gaza in December, 2008 and is one of the two Free Gaza coordinators. She witnessed the horror of Israel’s Cast Lead operation in Gaza in December/January and has already been out speaking about what she has seen. She is available to speak in Europe and the Middle East.
Lubna Masarwa (Palestine48, Arabic, Hebrew, English) is a Palestinian activist, who works as a community organizer for Al Quds University focusing on educational rights for the thousands of Palestinian children in East Jerusalem who have no schools. She also works with the community of East Jerusalem in their struggle against the Israeli government’s policy of ethnic cleansing Palestinian families through home demolitions and forced displacement. Until recently, as the Alternative Information Center (AIC) coordinator for the political/social movement in Palestine, she supported grassroots community members and activists in their efforts to mobilize resistance to the Occupation. In order to promote leadership among young Palestinian women, she directs a “Girls for Leadership” program in Jerusalem. Lubna was on the maiden voyage of the DIGNITY in October, 2008, then came back two more times to be one of the delegation leaders. She was on board the SPIRIT in June 2009 when it was hijacked and its passengers kidnapped and thrown into prison in Israel. She is available to speak in Europe, the U.S. and the Middle East.
Michael Shaik (Australia, English) is the Public Advocate for Australians for Palestine, a Melbourne-based organization that advocates for a just solution to the Palestine/Israel conflict and works to raise awareness of the conflict's dynamics among the Australian public. He is a graduate from the Australian National University with a Masters degree in Strategic Studies and an Honors degree in Political Science.
For the past six years he has worked to raise public awareness of the Palestinian struggle for self-determination among the Australian public, and, in 2006 he initiated the FREE GAZA campaign, which successfully breached Israel's maritime blockade of the Gaza Strip.
He is a contributor to two books on the role of non-violent direct action in the struggle for Palestinian independence and has commented on Israeli-Palestinian affairs for The Age, The Australian, The Canberra Times, ABC Radio National's Perspectives program and SBS Radio's World View program. He is available to speak in Australia and New Zealand.
Adam Shapiro (USA/the world, English, Spanish, Arabic) is a documentary filmmaker, human rights activist and Palestinian rights activist. He lived in the oPt from 1999-2002 and helped found the International Solidarity Movement (ISM). His films include the award-winning documentary, About Baghdad (2004); Darfur Diaries: Message from Home (2005); and Becoming Nadya (2007). His latest file is a documentary series on Palestinian refugees all over the world called Chronicles of a Refugee, broadcast on Al-Jazeera Documentary Channel in May 2009. Adam was on board the hijacked SPIRIT when Israel boarded the boat outside the waters of Gaza, kidnapped the passengers and threw them into jail. He is available to speak around the world.
Darlene Wallach (US West Coast, English) spent almost two months inPalestine in 2002 most of that time fighting deportation after witnessing collective punishment of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. She recently returned to the Gaza Strip on board the LIBERTY in August 2008 and spent three months volunteering with the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) accompanying Palestinian fishermen and Palestinian farmers witnessing daily violations of the ceasefire by Israeli military. On November 18, 2008, Darlene was abducted at gunpoint by the Israeli navy as she was accompanying fishermen out to sea off the coast of the Gaza Strip. She was thrown into prison for ten days and denied the right to go back to Gaza to do the work she loved. She is available to speak in the United States.
Donna Wallach (US West Coast, English, Hebrew) In August 2008, Donna was on the first boat to enter Gaza in 41 years, the FREE GAZA. She remained in the Gaza Strip for 4 months, volunteering with the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), accompanying Palestinian fishermen and Palestinian farmers and witnessing the Israeli military violate the six-month June 2008 ceasefire. Donna lived from 1981-1997 inside the 1948 borders of Historic Palestine. In 2002, she returned to the West Bank and Gaza Strip to volunteer with GIPP (Grassroots International Program for the Palestinian People) and with ISM. She was in Ramallah during the Siege of Ramallah and again witnessed the collective punishment of innocent Palestinians under a month-long constant curfew. When the curfew was lifted, she documented the destruction to the infrastructure of the city - businesses, government offices, rehabilitation centers damaged or totally destroyed. Donna and Darlene have designed and given multi-media presentations about what they witnessed while in Gaza during 2008. She is available to speak in the United States.
|< Prev||Next >|